PICKENS COUNTY — Easley City Councilman Terry Moore and Pickens City Councilman Donnie McKinney took their knowledge of the inner workings of government one step further by graduating from the state’s Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government (MEO).
According to the Municipal Association of South Carolina, the MEO Institute is a program established in 1986 that gives municipal officials a strong foundation in the operation of local government. Participants learn about the role of elected officials and administrative staff and the relationships municipal officials have with other local governments, the state and federal government.
“It was a great experience,” said Moore during an interview. “Any time you have the opportunity to gain knowledge, you should take advantage of it. The way I look at it is the more I understand how things work, the better position I’ll be in to serve my district and my city.”
Officials participate in more than 25 hours of classroom work in order to graduate from the Institute. Topics covered during the sessions range from everything from the Freedom of Information Act, ethics and accountability and budgeting to planning and zoning, human resources and economic development.
“For almost 30 years, (MASC) has encouraged local elected officials to participate in the Institute, whether they are newly elected or have served for a while,” said Miriam Hair, executive director of MASC. “This Institute gives elected leaders with diverse personal and professional backgrounds an understanding and overview of the details of running a local government.”
Moore said that he plans on attending the next level of classes as soon as they become available.
“I tried to register for them already but they’re (the classes) only held at certain times during the year. I’ll have to wait until October,” he said.
Both Moore and McKinney received their certificates during MASC’s Hometown Legislative Action Day.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.